Foil-Baked Whole Trout with Lemon–Soy Sauce Butter

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Foil-Baked Whole Trout with Lemon–Soy Sauce ButterUsing foil is a great way to prepare delicate fish like trout that would ordinarily fall apart on the grill. The foil also traps the juices and flavors of this dish and lets them mingle instead of drip off. Once you finish eating the top half of the fish, pull the head off and the spine will pull away, too, letting you tuck into the bottom half. This trout is great cold, too. Leftovers, anyone? (Don’t eat the sliced lemons, they’re for flavor.)

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 4 whole rainbow trout (¾ to 1 pound each)
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, thinly sliced,
  • plus 2 tablespoons (for smearing)
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Yuzu kosho, optional
How to Make It
  1. Lightly season the trout with salt all over, including the cavity. Let the trout rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Wipe off moisture that accumulates on the surface of the fish with paper towels. Cut about a ¼-inch-deep slit lengthwise along the rainbow-colored strip (the centerline) on the sides of each fish, from head to tail. Do this on both sides; the cut will help the trout cook faster and absorb flavor.
  2. Cut four 12- by 18-inch pieces of aluminum foil, fold them in half so the shiny side is on the outside, and place them on a work surface. For each trout, smear a thin film of butter on the center of the foil the size of the fish. Lay a row of lemon slices on the butter and place a trout over them. Top the fish with another row of lemon slices, then place butter slices on the lemon. Pour 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce over the fish. Fold over the long sides of the foil and fold and pinch the ends closed; it’s okay if the foil package isn’t airtight (this will allow steam to escape when grilling).
  3. Preheat a grill to medium-hot. Grill the trout in their foil packets about 6 minutes per side, starting with the seam side first. When it’s time to turn them, you’ll see butter and juices dripping out of the foil pouches. Transfer each trout to its own plate and carefully unwrap the fish (watch out for escaping steam). Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce over each fish and dab with yuzu kosho. Serve immediately.

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